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Design Analysis



Author: Poetry of Robert Frost Type: Poetry Views: 9464

A Further Range1936I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,

On a white heal-all, holding up a moth

Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --

Assorted characters of death and blight

Mixed ready to begin the morning right,

Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --

A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,

And dead wings carried like a paper kite.What had that flower to do with being white,

The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?

What brought the kindred spider to that height,

Then steered the white moth thither in the night?

What but design of darkness to appall?--

If design govern in a thing so small.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2013-07-08 | by a guest


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Following my analysis, thousands of people all over the world get the loan at various creditors. Therefore, there is a good possibility to get a consolidation loan in every country.

| Posted on 2013-06-28 | by a guest


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I had got a desire to make my own commerce, nevertheless I didn't have got enough amount of money to do it. Thank heaven my close friend advised to utilize the business loans. Thence I took the small business loan and made real my old dream.

| Posted on 2013-06-27 | by a guest


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This stank. I turned a paper into my teacher using this translation since I didnt understand it and she said it was totally wrong. :P All in all: I dont recommend this translation.

| Posted on 2012-02-20 | by a guest


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He took LSD and then shoved ecstasy up his... Thus, we find no apparent logical meaning in this poem. Case closed

| Posted on 2012-01-30 | by a guest


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-Perception and predestination or coincidence?-
Frost wants the readers to reflect and create their own perception of the nature of existence itself (are we all floating around by coincidence/free will or is there a higher being that \"designed\" and controls every detail of life?) The spider, moth, and heal-all flower are all unconventionally white (a heal-all is usually violet and is said to be a source of healing power). He does this to show that evil exists everywhere, even in what seem to be safe places such as a white flower. The flower is unable to prevent the death of the moth, which may indicate that Frost is suggesting the idea of there being a higher being in control. If there is, Frost challenges the common belief that the Creator God is a good god, not an evil one or non-existent. Also Frost uses \"right\" instead of \"rite\" which means a ceremony or event marking an important part of a life such as birth, puberty, marriage, or death. And this is appropriate because the previous line he speaks of death. So what design if any brought these three things together under such odd circumstances for such a cruel image? Or is it just all coincidence. Reality is created by perception and Frost wants his readers to create their own perceptions of existence and if it is for reasoning or just happens.

| Posted on 2011-11-10 | by a guest


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i think this poem was written about the sexual tension between a young boy and his pets, usually a dog

| Posted on 2011-05-27 | by a guest


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\"What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.\"
These last lines of the quatrain reverberate the speaker\'s terror at the implications of this disturbing breakfast. Why did the moth have to fly by the one albino flower in the sea of \"innocent,\" blue flowers just as the white spider, Thomisus spectabilis, lay camouflaged on its petals. What would seem like three coincidences to Charles Darwin is evidence to the speaker of some dark and malicious entity, willing to control even the smallest of things for amusement.

| Posted on 2011-04-12 | by a guest


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Why did my seventh grade teacher assign an essay on this college poem? Why!

| Posted on 2010-10-12 | by a guest


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I think Bobby was trying to say that it couldn\'t have been a coincidence that all three things, the moth, the spider, and the flower were white and happened to be all together at the same time. Maybe he was trying to say that God has a part in every little detail of life. Or maybe it was just a poem written to amuse him by confusing us. You never know.
-reBelle I.N. Alcatraz

| Posted on 2010-10-12 | by a guest


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I think Bobby was trying to say that it couldn\'t have been a coincidence that all three things, the moth, the spider, and the flower were white and happened to be all together at the same time. Maybe he was trying to say that God has a part in every little detail of life. Or maybe it was just a poem written to amuse him by confusing us. You never know.
-reBelle I.N. Alcatraz

| Posted on 2010-10-12 | by a guest


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I was analyzing this with my classmates, as we had to write an essay on the meaning. What we understood is:
In the last 2 linse \"What but design of darkness to appall? If desing govern in a thing so small.\" It\'s poking fun at God; why would He put so much effort in details so small when He has bigger things to deal with? If you think of literary devices and how they\'re used in this passage(and also use the dictionary on a few words -i.e. blight; when he says \"Assorted characters of death and blight\" that order is reversed because blight comes before death, but he switched it to not only help with rhyme scheme but to also emphasize the word death) the meaning becomes a little more clear.

| Posted on 2010-10-11 | by a guest


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Free will versus predestination is what Frost wanted his reader to consider. There is also the fact that the idea of design goes farther back to Christian theologians (look up St. Agustine and \"design), as well as those who pointed out the futility and vanity of humans\' attempt at self-determination, which goes further yet into other religius and theo arguments. But you need not be a theologian. Are we free or are we not? Or do we merely think in our ignorance we are free? Is the universe benign, malign, or simply indiferent: that is what Frost wants us to consider, the nature of existance itself. Pretty profound yet deceitfully simple to be put into such a short poem, don\'t you think? The only spam there should be is the one found in musubi. Gracias.

| Posted on 2010-10-05 | by a guest


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Frost is saying that the three characters in his poem govern among themselves. they rely on each other to survive and without one another they would break the chain and fall apart such as out government in real life

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest


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I believe that Frost is saying that it is incredibly unlikely that these three things - a white flower, a white spider, and a white moth - came together just by random chance. Frost writes 'design of darkness to appall', which I read as his saying if there is a Creator who caused this scene to happen, if His control is absolute over the smallest of things, then what possible freedom do we have? Frost implies we have no true freedom; we just act out scripts already written by an omnipresent being.

| Posted on 2010-04-20 | by a guest


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Frost tells us that the world can be a dark, cold, harsh place. Even in a heal-all plant, where it is supposed to be ''good and safe'', there is a spider, camouflaged in the beauty of the plant, and seeks to take advantage of the moth. I think that the author is telling us that even in the safest place, there are going to be evil things.

| Posted on 2010-03-15 | by a guest


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I think the poem is a challenge to Christian people who argue the world was 'designed" by a creator. The general sense is that this creator is benevolent and good; that is what Frost challenges here; the very idea of a benevolent creator; he turns that upside down by showing how design is brutal, and hardly benevolent- at least, for the moth :)
Viva Montaigne!

| Posted on 2010-03-13 | by a guest


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I agree with what many think of this poem as to Frost just might be trying to open our eyes to the smaller things in lifes rather than the bigger things that we pay more attion to. All in all i think that the whole meaning of this is that in reality nothing is perfect and in every life theres a death.

| Posted on 2010-03-03 | by a guest


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Here is a quate from a chapter I just read called "Governeing Design: the Managemnt of Social Systems and Ecosystems Management" by Frances Westley
"The preceding lines were penned by the poet Robert Frost, surely the greatest spokesman in the artistic world for the strange and haunting similarities between the processes of nature and the symbolic constructions of man. these lines were inspired by the discovery by the poet, in an early morning walk, of a white spider poised on a white albino flower, holding up the wings of a dead white moth - elements in nature of death and life, camoflage and discovery. For Frost the whiteness also symbolized good against evil, light against dark. And so, in a typical Frostian twist, he sees "design," an ordr that joins man and nature, defying the forces of disorder and darkness and then almost self-mockingly questions his own perception: Does design operate in a thing so small?"
Thanks for the other posts, I looked at them to try to figure out why the chapter started with this quote. I still don't understand the lign "what but design of darkness to appall?" means? any ideas?

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest


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i dont think that he is really talking about how we dont apreciate the small things in life but what i think he is talking about is more of destiny.in the third stanza and frist and second lines he says "what brought the kindred spider to that hieght, then steetred the white moth thither in the night?" in reality is there something bigger than us that determines what we do in our lives. who governs who dies and who lives? because somebody had told that lilttle spider to go up that high set his web and draw the moth in.

| Posted on 2010-01-26 | by a guest


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In part I believe it is saying that if there is so much detail in something so small as a web, imagine the detail in the larger scheme of things

| Posted on 2009-11-12 | by a guest


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I personally believe that this poem is about how opposing life (or rather how life is filled with opposition.)
Note how they use the color "white," constantly. This color is closely associated with purity, but he uses this color to describe a gruesome, evil scene.

| Posted on 2009-09-10 | by a guest


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I believe this is a poem about the disaster life is. The spider is feeling imense pain and suffering, as you can tell by the line "mixed ready to begin the morning right". He obviously feels he is hopeless and cannot do anything right the previous mornings.

| Posted on 2009-08-19 | by a guest


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This poems further shows that there is evil in what seems to be good world (even though the world really is an evil place in my opinion). A heal-all flower was originally thought to possess healing qualities so this symbolizes the good things in the world as well as the innocent white moth and plus white symbolizes purity. And the white color of the spider disguises the evil of it causing it to fool the innocent moth into its demise. This poem brings light to the hidden evils in the world and that if you aren't careful you can be caught into them.
Just a quick thing: God designs everything for a purpose and everything has its own season and time to go. Why does God let bad things happen? Because he wants us to learn from them. One of the moths purposes' is to feed the spider and that's just the order of life.

| Posted on 2009-07-09 | by a guest


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To me the poem talks about how, as im sure previosuly said in post. that he is refferring to the overall grand "design". God, the creator and how we are as humans and in existance stuck between two bleaque realities.
1. that god is only existing to create pain and take joy in our suffering (the moth flies straigh into a spider who happens to be the same colour of the flower when the flower is NORMALYL blue).
or if this was just a freak occurance.
2. there is no god or creator, rather total chaos and uncontrollable universe where we are all doomed in the end, and there is realy no point in our futile struggle against the inevitable.

| Posted on 2009-06-12 | by a guest


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Design is a poem that is not about "a perfect design from a perfect creator" but rather draws into question the Nature of the creator itself. "If a watch, then a watchmaker." Frost tries to make us understand that if the Design has flaws, or evils, then the creator must be evil itself. It is in no way an anti-religious poem, but rather a philosophy of a sort of trickle-down effect (not economically) of the morality of a creator to its creation. -High School IB Diploma Candidate of 2010.

| Posted on 2009-05-30 | by a guest


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i believe that it has to do with more the relation between the plant, the spider, and the moth. i think considering that the plant is called a heal all plant it still couldnt save the moth from the spider. idk and im a jr. in high school

| Posted on 2009-05-05 | by a guest


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I'm only a sophmore in high school, but i am a pretty good writer. I belive that this poem talks about ow everything is designed by the hand of God so that it can fit into the enviroment it was needed in.The DESIGN name was talking about how it (the spider) fits into the area it lives( you know, near the flower) so it can survive.

| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest


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No design, just description. The design is his description...

| Posted on 2009-04-20 | by a guest


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my opinion about the poem is that he is talkin about the smaller things in life and how we dont pay attention to them because we are to busy focusing on the bigger thigs that are in their face.i like it cause it brings to my attention that i really need to wake up and smell the coffee because i could miss a whole lot of blessings be cause i wouldnt look or listen to the little things and i miss everything that i need so i think its just to pay attention to the little things and dont let the pass u yp

| Posted on 2009-04-03 | by a guest


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to me this poem is trying to say that everything has detail, even something as small, simple, and scary as a spider. we usually don't look at the details and DESIGN of the smaller things in life and we usually focus on the bigger picture. if we just take the time to observe and recognize the smaller things in life, we could find that we are very fasinated with those things.

| Posted on 2009-03-25 | by a guest


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The overall imagery in this poem suggest that evil may masquerade as innocence.
agree? good? yeah

| Posted on 2009-03-18 | by a guest


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I AM NO EXPERT ANYLIST OR ANYTHING IM A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL BUT I FEEL THERE IS DESIGN IN SUCH A SMALL ASPECT OF LIFE EVENTHOUGH FROST MIGHT NOT HAVE REALIZED HE SAID IT. THE SPIDER WAZ ALLREADY THERE BECAUSE OF HIS INSTINCTS. HE SEEN THE ALL WHITE HEAL-ALL OUT OF ITS NATURAL COLOR BECAUSE OF DEATH AND WAITED IN ITS WHITE DESIGN FOR FOOD TO SURVIVE

| Posted on 2009-03-11 | by a guest


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In response to 2009-02-08:
This poem was written in 1922. So though a possibility, it is highly unlikely Frost was commenting on the Nazi Party and the German swastika.

| Posted on 2009-03-04 | by a guest


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I believe that a little expalaination of this is needed. Robert Frost was born in the last 1800's and died in the 1960's. During WWII the German swastika was often referred to a spider. When given the knowledge, humanity used it to create ways to conquer those less fortunate who were not able to pull ahead in the arms race, isn't that the same thing that is happening to the moth??.

| Posted on 2009-02-08 | by a guest


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There is Design in all of life (something Einstein also advocated) which is embedded in both Darkness and Light; this Design -- "the Architecture" -- is ours to discover because it is the revelation of deeper meaning and purpose to life itself.
Darkness has double meaning (entendre) both "evil" and "hidden." It is ours to bring the secrets hidden in darkness, even if evil, into the light of understanding through questions. We must look beyond our small world of superficial illusion into the depths of truth. Only the moth is real and white; the spider is creating an illusion by being disguised as white, and the heal-all (normally blue-violet) is a medicinal herb which has become the foil for entrapment, and ultimately death. There is no escaping the real inner design by assuming a superficial reality.
What's important in the structure of this poem is the ultimate scientific structure: stanza one is observation, stanza two is question; and the deduction and conclusion are the stanzas we must form for ourselves. Brilliant!

| Posted on 2008-11-22 | by a guest


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the thing about design is that when you first glance at it, it appears to be in the format of a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet, however the thing about Frost is that not everything is as it seems. Everything he did, he did on purpose. The poem never gives an answer, which defeats the "Italian sonnet" theory. Instead, the poem is a huge answer, questioning God, on why we are here and why he was brought to witness the strange occurance of those white creatures. It connects design and ambiguity. We were all put here but it is unclear as to why? Are we given free will, or does God already have a plan for us? Frost used such great word play throughout this whole sonnet, it amazes me.

| Posted on 2008-10-21 | by a guest


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It's an Italian Sonnet, you people are ridiculous. Get lives.

| Posted on 2008-10-21 | by a guest


.: Design :.

Even though this web site is a bit weird I think I got more feedback on the poem here then I did on any other website. I may be young but I feel that the poem was about death's design and it's intricate detail in even the smallest things. I'm curious if anyone can tell me the significance of Frost using positive words in negative connotations. I want to say thats how he is able to make such a morose poem beautiful but I am still unsure. What do you think?

| Posted on 2008-05-27 | by a guest


.: Design :.

The witches broth is a simile of God's creation. In which the witch places these creatures into the broth, God has placed his creatures into this world that Frost is witnessing.
So, in the end Frost is questioning what darkness or the unknown is out there when such design is found in small things. What purposes do we have in this world if spiders or small creatures have such purpose that can be both beautiful and brutal.
Jeanna

| Posted on 2008-04-21 | by a guest




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